A day out in Lucca

May, 01 2019 ( Updated August, 27 2021)

Food & Restaurants

A day out in Lucca

If you are staying along the Tuscan coast, then a sightseeing trip to Lucca is a must! Offering a wonderful way to soak up some regional heritage and cosmopolitan vibes for the day, it promises a 'breath of fresh air' away from the coast.

With the ancient walled city just 36 minutes’ drive/ 41 minutes’ train ride away from Viareggio, the well-loved city of Lucca is a popular tourist destination, so we advise arriving early in the morning.

That way you have the whole day to make the most of this tantalising Tuscan city. If you're planning a trip already, than our helpful guide is bound to come in handy ~

Start the day right, with an authentic Italian coffee & pastry

After arriving outside the city walls by car and parking at one of the two main Caducci car parks, or arriving by train at Lucca station (the average journey time from Viareggio is between 40 minutes – 1 hr), visitors will find plenty of cafes to enjoy en-route to Lucca city centre. One of the best-loved cafes can be found along ‘Via S. Paolino’, just 12-14 minutes’ walk away. Situated in the heart of the lovely ancient city, 'Caffetteria Pasticceria Da Sara & Co' promises authentic Italian coffee and delicious freshly-baked pastries. Once you’ve had your thirst quenched with one of their amazing cappuccinos, you will be ready for a day out in Lucca!

Morning to explore

Enjoy a scenic stroll or bike ride in the magical morning sun, along the pedestrianized city wall route. Avid cyclists looking to hire a bike for the morning (or day) will find the Chrono bikeshop nearby (it's a 6 minutes’ walk from 'Caffeteria Pasticceria Da Sara & Co'). 

Once you are ready and equipped, enjoy exploring part, or all, of the beautiful 4-km route. Situated along ancient ramparts and offering far-reaching views of the city and surrounding hills, the atmospheric tapestry of Lucca will unveil itself to you as you cycle, or stroll past. Cultivated from many years of history; from the Roman and Medieval times to the Renaissance and the defiant Unification days, you’ll be able to enjoy a delightful first taste of Lucca, before dipping into one of the main attractions. The elevated route also passes through the 2-hectare Lucca Botanical gardens. The romantic landscaped grounds serve as the perfect pit-stop for enjoying a mid-morning snack.

Nearby within the city walls, Lucca’s three Romanesque churches of San Michele, Duomo of San Martino and the Basilica of San Ferdiano beg to be visited and admired. Situated 6 minutes’ apart from each other, you will be able to reach all three easily on foot, or by bike.


When the lunchtime rumbles arrive, head towards ‘Piazza dell’ Anifiteatro’, for an authentic lunchtime meal in the sun, or under the shade of a parasol.

Built on the site of an ancient Roman amphitheatre, the large open 19th century piazza offers a real sense of the glory days. Savour a delicious lunch at one of the authentic restaurants there, including the highly-recommended 'Peperosa' (open for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays), ‘L’Angelo Tondo’ (open daily) and ‘Osteria Parlascio(open daily).


After lunch, grab yourself an authentic ‘gelato’ and walk the short 3-minute route from the piazza to Torre Guinigi. You won't miss this 14th century tower, thanks to its recognisable holm oak trees planted on top! It is a popular attraction in Lucca and promises a beautiful panoramic view of the city.

After taking in the magnificent views, make your way to the former home of the celebrated composer, Giacomo Puccini (now a museum, 7 minutes’ walk away).

A trip to Lucca would not be complete too without a spot of shopping, and 5 minutes’ walk away, the world-renowned antique shops along ‘Via del Battistero’ and ‘Via del Gallo’ can be found. Perfect for a sourcing a unique holiday souvenir, the cluster of shops also provide a super window-shopping opportunity!

For the flea market fans, the street ‘Via del Battistero’ hosts open-air antiques markets on the 3rd Sunday of every month.


When the afternoon sun begins to fade, Lucca stirs in anticipation. It is Aperitivo hour!

Head to the popular, laid-back 'Bar S.Michele' in the picturesque Piazza S. Michele, for an authentic Italian beer, prosecco or cocktail, accompanied by a tasty snack to revive the senses.


If you would like to savour an evening supper in Lucca, then you will be spoilt for choice!

The delicious cuisine served at the fabulously quirky ‘Paris Boheme Bistrot Cucina Autentica’ will not disappoint, whilst pasta lovers will be in paradise at ‘In Pasta - Cibo e Convivo’. Seafood fans and those already missing the coast should make their way to the elegant Mediterranean cuisine of ‘Pesce Briaco’.

The trendy ‘Gatta ci Cova' serves up creative Mediterranean and European dishes; with tasty Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-free options all readily available. Those in search of something informal will enjoy the authentic, tasty pizzas on offer at the popular ‘Pizzeria Dal Ciaccia’.

Once you have savoured Lucca’s delicious cuisine, the Carpucci car parks are within leisurely walking distance from the centre city. Those heading back to Viareggio by train can take in the city at sunset  and hop on the last train at 21:50, as the stars come out.

A day trip to Lucca will tantalise the senses and offer plenty of wonderful holiday memories.

More so, this top Tuscany city offers many enigmatic layers, leaving plenty of enticement to return again soon.

"Buona vacanza!"



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